Back2Basics // OOTD

Hooray for gloom! We've been having a delightful blend of completely overcast days paired with cloudless mornings. I always take advantage of cooler weather here because it's such a rarity.  I find myself yearning for more of those chilly dawns & brisk evenings, those short-lived moments when sporting a jacket isn't just a fashion statement but a necessity.

california lifestyle blogger, ootd

I've noticed a shift in my style of the last couple years. I used to be all about mixing patterns & creating whimsical combinations — it was all about making a statement, an impact. I strived to find the most eye-catching designs at the cheapest price, often forgoing quality altogether. Now that I find myself attending meetings, traveling to cover events, & working with brands, those myriad of crazy outfits aren't always appropriate.

california lifestyle blogger, ootd

The great thing about blogging is that you can see a transformation before your eyes. Scroll back far enough & you can genuinely witness a person's growth. My very first blog outfit is still a favorite, so I'm true to who I was but just older, wiser, & more experienced. And that's a good thing. I still love the boldest of patterns, I just don't buy them as often. I focus on adding pieces that'll last longer.

california lifestyle blogger, ootd
Top: New Chic* (similar) // Tunic: H&M (similar) // Pants: HUE (similar) // Shoes: H&M (similar) // Earrings: Schönbrunn Palace (similar)

This outfit consists of pieces that together create a harmonious outfit but as separates they can be worn flexibly. The HUE jeggings have been a staple in my wardrobe from the moment I got them. You can see me wearing them here, here, & here

california lifestyle blogger, ootd

I brought the black & white patterned tunic with me to my Europe trip in 2010. It's lived a long life & traveled to several countries. It's definitely a fun top that's lasted the test of time. The black open backed top is a relatively new piece in my collection; it's an unexpected twist on your average black blouse.

california lifestyle blogger, ootd

I'm all about finding key garments that can be worn over & over until they eventually disintegrate into nothing. Garments that are so well loved that even a third party can recall the obscene amount of times they were sported. That's my attitude for now at least. I'll have to check in a year to see my growth since this moment.

california lifestyle blogger, ootd

How has your style changed over the course of the past year? What are some of your favorite pieces of clothing in your closet? :]

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Snapchat: carmenvarner

* Disclaimer: I received the blouse complimentary from New Chic. All opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. Learn more about my disclosure here. :]

56 comments

  1. I love those shoes!! I have a crazy obsession with boots. I need to get myself a pair like those.

    Princess Kaiulani | www.princesskaiulanit.blogspot.com

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  2. I definitely agree with you on the point about blogging being fundamentally a journal for one's style. I LOVE the all black look, Carmen! I hope you're enjoying the gloomy weather, haha.

    MAY | WWW.THEMAYDEN.COM

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  3. I love gloomy overcast weather too! There's something about it that I just find some calming. Loving this look too! So perfect for the occasion / I need those shoes in my life asap
    www.sprinklesandsaturdays.com

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  4. This is so true. My style used to be hippy-boho-chic, colorful and always full of prints. Now, I love neutrals, simple pieces and I am running away from the pieces I used to adore. But its a good thing, I guess our style reflect our growth and all the stuff that happened in between :) ! Love this look Carmen, you look beautiful.

    http://www.persianbrunette.com

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  5. I always take good care of my clothes so I can wear them or many years to come.
    The oldest item I own 12 years old.
    Thanks for the lovely post!
    Cheers,
    T.
    https://tbymallano.wordpress.com/

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  6. This all-black outfit looks great! I'm still all about patterns and mixing colours with a more boho-chic kind of style, but I have those days where all I want is to stick to a simpler look. This looks so well put together, you always have great style regardless of what you wear! It seems so effortless :)

    My Lovelier Days

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  7. I love your top and how the pattern shows at the back!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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  8. Love the pop of print (and it's a great print)! I still love prints but I've definitely learned to appreciate basics over the years. xx

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  9. I love this look! The open back of that black top is such a surprise!

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  10. I totally agree about choosing quality over quantity. I've been quite a shopaholic in my early 20s, until I realized I don't even wear most pieces in my closet. I now only choose items that are versatile, of good quality and that fit my style:) It saves me so much time and money!
    I really like your tunic here, btw. I can't believe you bought it in 2010!:) It looks so fun and trendy! Anyway, thank you for sharing and have a great day ahead!

    Yuliannova

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  11. Love this outfit casual yet chic and trendy.
    My blog: RumelaTheShopaholic
    YouTube Channel : Latest video

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  12. Really interesting post. You look great and I love your outfit. My style has definitely changed over the past years, mostly because I moved from Miami to Bonn, Germany. :) I went from working in an office to homeoffice, etc...There were a lot of factors involved. You are right, we can see the evolution through our posts...:) Have a great week and thanks for stopping by my blog! XO

    http://cafesocietyxxi.blogspot.de/

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  13. It is really magnificent. I still remember the first time I saw it...Thanks for sharing!

    Xo

    Elsa
    http://cafesocietyxxi.blogspot.de/

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  14. I love how you layered you tops!

    www.prettyinleather.net

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  15. I've been subconsciously into quantity for years now and I'm regretting it whenever I see all the clothes I don't wear. Definitely keeping in mind to choose quality over quantity.

    http://www.stringofthoughts.com/

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  16. I love your look! That top is gorgeous.
    XX
    http://theoceansdock.com

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  17. LOVE the velvet Docs! Need those!
    xx Frederique - FAB le Frique - http://fablefrique.com

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  18. The weather has been cooler here around my place as well...Unfortunately by 'cooler' I mean full thunderstorm mode. But if you can rock this weather, honey, you can do anything! :)) Keep it up!

    Kisses,
    Diana
    www.thebeargirl.com

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  19. No cool weather here - hot, hot, hot in Colorado! Cute pics - those jeggings are on point!

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

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  20. Yeah I use to be like you and had lots of stuff but of not the greatest quality but I too have changed my tune and have since learned to buy less but of better quality.

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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  21. At times I go for an outrageous dress that I'm in love with at the moment, but I trend to always lean towards pieces that will be staples now too.

    Meghan | BeyondBasicBlog.com

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  22. great look!! :D love it all!

    Have a great day!

    Animated Confessions

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  23. Super cool look Carms!! I really love how the outfit is all black but then it's broken up with the touch of the animal pattern! Love it! Xx

    http://theemasphere.com/

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  24. Love this outfit!! Good basics are the foundation to any wardrobe :)

    xx, Amy
    www.theluxilook.com

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  25. totally loving your look here!
    xx
    http://thedemeler.com

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  26. Such a cute black on black look. You remind me so much of my youngest sister :)
    XO,
    Maria
    MariaOnPoint http://mariaonpoint.com/ | Find me on IG https://www.instagram.com/mariajabad/

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  27. They're my most worn shoes for sure. :]

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  28. It really is. I look back over the years; it's crazy. :]

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  29. Gloom is very calming to me. Wish we got more of it. :]

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  30. I've changed in some ways, for sure. But I'm the same too. :]

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  31. That's amazing. What item is it? :]

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  32. It adds such a fun pop to a plain black blouse. :]

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  33. I may have to retire it soon, but for now it's chugging along. :]

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  34. Where abouts are you from? We rarely get thunderstorms here. :]

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  35. I'm the same way. I definitely own outrageously bold dresses, but they aren't as versatile as say a simple grey one. :]

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  36. Job & location can certainly play a big role in style change over time. Are you enjoying it there? :]

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  37. Same. I have a lot of items I haven't worn in years. Time to donate! :]

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  38. Maybe it has to do with aging or jobs or...anything really. :]

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  39. It's back to hot, hot, hot here as well. :]

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  40. It is, she's the best :)
    XO,
    Maria
    MariaOnPoint http://mariaonpoint.com/ | Find me on IG https://www.instagram.com/mariajabad/

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  41. Such a cute look! So glam and comfortable!

    Blog || One Moment Plz
    Latest Blog Post || One Moment Plzz
    Bloglovin || One Moment Plz

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  42. Great outfit! When it doubt, wear black! :)
    www.koukionline.com

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  43. Great shoes my dear, in my teaste :)
    Look is so simply, but I think is classy too.


    Kisses for you: theviktoria.blogspot.com

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  44. I love this outfit! That open back blouse is very interesting and it looks amazing with the print tank underneath. Gorgeous!
    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  45. I love how you can see progression through blogging! I like the personal details you put in this basics outfit that make it subtly stand out, like the back and undershirt details!

    Characters & Carry-ons

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  46. Love this look, Carmen! The open back is so pretty!

    Happy Monday, love!

    xoxo, Vanessa

    www.WhatWouldVWear.com

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  47. Yes, absolutely! taking it one day at a time. Thanks for asking ;)

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